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Sofie finds her best place
TV presenter Sofie Allsopp, kid sister of Location Location Location star Kirstie Allsopp, has deserted Shepherd’s Bush for Edinburgh. She has let her garden flat and rented a Georgian house in the city’s upmarket Stockbridge area, where four-bedroom properties can fetch £1,800 to £2,500 a month.
“I’m completely in love with it,” says the Berkshire-raised daughter of former Christie’s chairman Lord Hindlipp. “It has all the original features, beautiful old wooden floors and a working fire in the kitchen and sitting-room.”
Cat-loving Sofie studied medieval history at Edinburgh University, where she met her boyfriend, Scots writer Rob Fletcher, who shares her new home.
After standing in for Kirstie during her maternity leave from Channel 4’s The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK, she now has her own BBC1 daytime television property series The Unsellables.
Billionaire Sir Anthony Bamford has surprised Chelsea neighbours by putting Sloane House, his eight-bedroom Old Church Street mansion, on the market only months after gaining planning permission to install a swimming pool and gym complex.
© Desmond O'Neill
But, far from this being an indication of his JCB diggers company suffering from the current building blight, he hopes to make a property “killing”. The jovial tycoon bought this Grade II-listed pile for £31.5 million in 2006. Now he is selling it for £79 million.
“It’s a trophy property that should appeal to a Russian oligarch, Hollywood star or Arab sheik,” says Aylesford.
Chav taste sells property, even if it takes more than 12 months. Witness former Manchester United player Phil Neville, who has just sold Sunnyside, his Lancashire mansion near Rawtenstall, for £3.5 million through Knight Frank.
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Many would-be buyers baulked at the Neville initials carved on the gates, gold-decorated rooms and framed football shirts. “It takes tacky interior design to a new level,” said one visitor.
But the Everton captain had the last laugh. Having bought the Grade II-listed building for £600,000 10 years ago, he has now moved to central Manchester into a £3 million triplex in Beetham Tower, said to be Europe’s tallest residential building.
Golden Grove, the former Carmarthenshire seat of the Earl Cawdor, is for sale at £1.5 million through Cooke & Arkwright. But the baronial-style Victorian mansion and stable block overlooking the River Towy are likely to be turned into 32 flats.
This crumbling property was sold by the late sixth Earl and 25th Thane of Cawdor in 1972 after he had squandered the family fortune on booze, women and high living.
The family retired to their other stately home, 14th-century Cawdor Castle near Inverness. A froideur exists between the present Earl and his glamorous stepmother the Dowager Countess Cawdor over ownership of the castle, one of Scotland’s top tourist attractions.